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Publication 861


C212 P861
(1983 print)

Digitized by the Internet Archive

2012 with funding from


and Agri-Food Canada - Agriculture



collecting for beginners

Walton Groves


Former Head Mycology Section Plant Research Institute
Ottawa, Ont.





861, available from Communications Branch, Agriculture Canada, Ottawa K1A 0C7.

Cat. No.

©Minister of Supply and Services Canada 1980 A43— 861/ 1980E ISBN: 0-662-0109 Revised 1980 Reprinted 1983 12M— 9:83
Aussi disponible en francais.


This publication

who would


intended as a guide for the beginner to use some of our wild mushrooms for food. It

not enable you to identify wild mushrooms in general, for it does not describe one in a hundred of the species that may be found in the woods. In order to use it profitably, study the notes and illustrations and look specifically for those edible kinds described here. Everything else should be avoided. The edible species chosen for inclusion in this bulletin are all common, easily recognizable with a little care in observing the characters described, and some of them can usually be found at any time during the growing season when conditions are sufficiently moist. Only one rule is emphasized eat only species that you know to be edible and avoid all others. If an accident should occur and a poisonous species be eaten by mistake, empty the stomach and intestines immediately and get a doctor as quickly as possible. Note: Some species, often referred to as magic mushrooms, hallucinogenic mushrooms, or a wide variety of other colorful names, contain the restricted drugs psilocin and psilocybin. Possession of these native or foreign mushrooms could lead to arrest and conviction under the Food and Drug Act. Most of these species are too small to be accidentally gathered for the purpose of eating. However, naturalists interested in all types of fungi might unwittingly collect these species and unattended children might eat the common lawn species.

Furthermore. to use the term mushroom for gill-bearing fungi only does give it some scientific meaning. which caused over thirty deaths in one season near New York City. the fungi with gills are genus or family group thought to be more closely related to one another than to fungi without gills. it will include such forms as the morels and the puffballs even though they are distinct botanically from the gillbearing fungi. One who is aware of the danger and feels his own lack of knowledge will probably leave all mushrooms alone. A considerable amount of confusion exists concerning the terms 'mushroom' and 'toadstool. A more accurate and scientific way of using the term is to restrict it only to those fungi bearing gills. such as the Destroying Angel and the Fly Agaric. we have no evidence that this test will detect either of these poisons. the Destroying Angel. some even believe that they know the tests. As a matter of fact. This belief is more dangerous than complete ignorance. In fact. the poisons produced by different mushrooms. Poisonous and edible species may occur in the same genus and be quite closely related. and the ordinary person finding these plants in the woods feels no hesitation in eating a few berries on the spot or In this — — . may enjoy tasty mushroom dishes in safety. would detect both types of poison. in general. The most deadly species known. peels very readily. It is not reasonable. or blueberry. for the sake of convenience. but here. if properly informed. There is no simple rule or test to distinguish edible and poisonous mushrooms. some of which may be edible. but actually this term has no scientific meaning and does not correspond in any sense to a botanical classification. to expect that a simple chemical test. such as the blackening of silver. for these so-called tests are now known to be worthless and if relied on. It is therefore preferable to speak only of mushrooms. therefore. raspberry. but even the layman. may have undesirable characters that make them unfit for food. others. because in making a classification of plants. may result in serious trouble. One need not be a trained botanist in order to recognize a wild strawberry. For instance. some poisonous. it is simply not true that if a mushroom peels it is good to eat. botanists try to bring related forms together in the same and.' Most people using the word toadstool have in mind some poisonous or undesirable fungus. although not poisonous. Therefore. Many people seem to think that it is possible to distinguish edible from poisonous mushrooms by some simple rule or test.INTRODUCTION publication the word mushroom is used in its widest popular sense and includes any conspicuous fleshy fungus. are quite different chemical substances and have very different effects on the human body. but one who relies on false tests may be misled into eating poisonous species.

The fruiting body consists of a stem supporting a cap on the underside of which are the gills. and may vary from broad. Some . the spawn will produce the fruiting structures that we call mushrooms. in reality. or other material on which the fungus may be growing. This universal veil is not present in all mushrooms but is a very important character to look for in recognizing the dangerous genus Amanita.bringing some home fields are woods and rooms. Eat only those species that you know to be edible and leave all the others alone. the volva tears open and the young mushroom emerges. Exactly the is PARTS OF A MUSHROOM The structure we call a mushroom is. and it usually tears around the margin of the cap and remains hanging on the stem so that it forms a ring or annulus on the stem. or attached to it. In some mushrooms. thin plates to scarcely more than folds on the lower surface of the cap. Many other same attitude should be adopted toward mushcomparatively easy for anyone with a little study and careful observation to become acquainted with half a dozen or so species and be able to recognize them on sight. or run part way down it in different species of mushrooms. The gills form a series of plates that radiate from the stem to the margin of the cap. only the fruiting body of the fungus. This vegetative part is used by commercial mushroom growers to plant their beds and is commonly called mushroom spawn. kinds of mushrooms in the young stage have the gills enclosed by a sheet of tissue that stretches from the stem to the margin of the cap. The principal parts of the mushroom are illustrated by Diagram 1. the young plant is at first completely enclosed in a sheath of tissue called the universal veil or volva. leaving remnants of the volva as a sheath surrounding the base of the stem. The vegetative part of the plant consists of a system of branching threads and cord-like strands that ramifies through the soil. berries seen in the avoided because their identity and edibility are for future use. or may be relatively distant from one another. After a period of growth and accumulation of food reserves. As growth proceeds. corresponding to the seeds of higher plants. This is known as the partial veil. On the sides of the gills are produced the reproductive bodies or spores. manure. the genus that includes the deadly poisonous species such as Destroying Angel and Fly Agaric. and under favorable conditions of temperature and moisture. They may be free from the stem. They may be set close together or crowded. It not known. which represents sections through an Amanita.

CAP GILLS PARTIAL VEIL becoming ANNULUS STEM- VOLVA Diagram 1. Cut the stem off close to the cap and lay the cap on a piece of white paper with the gills down. reference will frequently be made to the color of the spores. The spores are produced on the sides of the gills in immense numbers. Obviously very few of them ever find suitable conditions for growth or the earth would be covered with mushrooms. When the cap is removed. it will be found that In . Principal parts of the mushroom illustrated by sections through an Amanita. forcibly discharged into the air. The spore color is a very constant character and frequently of greater importance in identifying a species. In order to determine the color. and borne away by the air currents. SPORE PRINTS the descriptions and notes that follow. mature plant on right. Young plant on left. it is necessary to make the mushroom discharge its spores onto a piece of white paper. Cover the cap with a glass jar or some sort of pan to protect it from air currents and leave it for a couple of hours or so.

wrap it in waxed paper and lay it on the bottom of the collecting basket. and the color of the spores can be told immediately from this spore deposit or spore print. some pieces of waxed paper or tissue paper. GATHERING MUSHROOMS The equipment required for gathering mushrooms is very simple.Fig. Spore print of a mushroom. 1. 1). making sure that the gills are downward. lay the cap on white paper with the gills down. Probably by the time you reach home the spore print will be ready. Time can be saved by getting spore prints in the field. the spores have been deposited in such a way as to form a pattern of the gills (Fig. When a specimen is found of which you wish to know the spore color. and a basket or even a paper bag in which to place the specimens 8 . A sharp knife. cut off the stem.

When you think you have found one of the species described here. It is advisable to cut off the stem well above the ground to avoid getting dirt in the specimens. it should be studied in detail. Fig. finally becoming nearly flat. it is usually better to keep each kind separate. do not use too much butter. fibrillose scales. but in others such as the Meadow Mushroom they are tender and of good flavor. but it is not necessary to peel them unless the caps are sticky or have large scales. Mushrooms have sometimes received unjust blame for digestive disturbances when the excessive butter was the cause. especially in age. making certain that you get the whole plant. Probably most people like to fry them in a little butter. if you find the flesh shows tunnel-like pinholes.5-10 cm broad. In some species the stems are tough and you will want to discard them.) EDIBLE. the method of handling them may vary a little. The descriptions in this publication are based as closely as possible on normal and typical forms. Before any species is eaten. Choose young. then becoming torn into delicate. 2-4 (page 11) The cap is 2. occasionally larger. it is wise to discard specimens that do not quite fit the description. at first silky. Until you feel that you are familiar with a species. Then wrap the specimens separately in the paper and bring them in where you can check each point in the description. Perhaps they are just variants or perhaps you may have a different species. Recipes for using mushrooms are available in many cookbooks and mushroom books. such as in the Parasol Mushroom. You will not learn to know a species from a single collection. the margin extending beyond the gills and often fringed with . sometimes pale brown. Careful collecting will save much trouble later. However. they should be washed and dried. convex. require much longer cooking than others. usually white. for it is very important to obtain the base of the stem. gather it carefully. depending on whether you are collecting them for study or only for the table. It may be necessary to dig into the ground with your knife. Mushrooms are living organisms and show variations between individuals and in different environmental conditions. such specimens should be discarded also. If this is done. sound specimens and discard any that appear overmature.are all that is required. Only when you know an edible species thoroughly should you attempt to collect it for food. Before being cooked. Cut them open to see that they are not infested with insect larvae and. Since some species MEADOW MUSHROOM {Agaricus campestris Fr.

Fig. somewhat fan-shaped.fragments of the veil adhering to it. and does The cap 10 . As the cap expands. moderately broad. sometimes with the margin becoming upturned in age and often wavy or lobed. smooth. 3 and 4. variable in color from whitish to dark grayish brown. Meadow Mushroom in the field. that stretches from the stem to the margin of the cap. white and membranous. crowded.) Sacc. Sometimes two or three will arise from the same base. Compare this carefully with Fig. 3. As may be seen from are enclosed by a layer of Fig. It was long thought that the cultivated mushroom was a form of this species. Fig. moist. solid but with a softer central core. and does not change color when bruised. in the button stage the gills tissue. The annulus or ring is about half way up the stem or higher. the partial veil.3 cm thick. OYSTER MUSHROOM {Pleurotus sapidus (Kalchbr. the pink gills that slowly turn purple brown. and open fields and is usually found in September or October. If you collect mushrooms in the button stage. it tears open. The fiesh is firm. The flesh is firm and white. The cultivated mushroom is very similar in appearance to the Meadow Mushroom. but many students of the mushrooms are now inclined to the view that it is a distinct species. and the remainder adhering to the margin of the cap to give it the fringed appearance. smooth. The gills are free from the stem. The whitish caps. leaving most of the veil adhering to the stem to form the annulus. there is a universal veil enclosing the entire young mushroom. and the fairly stout stem with a ring near the middle are the principal distinguishing characters. but occasionally may appear in the spring. 17 of the Destroying Angel in addition to the partial veil enclosing the gills.3-1. and usually has torn edges. at first pink. It grows in meadows. The Meadow Mushroom is probably the best known and most generally used of all the wild species. However. convex to nearly flat. pastures. but it would be much safer not to collect any mushroom in the button stage.) EDIBLE. equal or sometimes narrowed toward the base. it is so similar to the Meadow Mushroom that an acquaintance with the cultivated species should enable you to recognize the membranous where. The spores are nearly chocolate brown in a good print. changing slowly to purple brown and finally turning blackish. 5 (page 12) is 7. 3 and 4 illustrate successive stages in the formation of the annulus.5 cm long and 0. The stem is white. white.8-7. frequently in circles or arcs of circles. but usually they occur separately in groups. be very careful to avoid collecting those with a universal veil.5-18 cm broad.

11 . series of four illustrating the tearing of the partial veil and formation of the annulus. series of four young specimens. Fig. 2. Fig. side view. Meadow mushroom. Meadow mushroom. single specimen. Meadow mushroom.Fig. 4. 3.

6. log. Fig.Fig. 12 . 5. Oyster mushroom. three specimens. Cluster on end of a Masked Tricholoma.

moist but not sticky. at first bluish or lavender. It may be found at any time from May to October. The principal distinguishing characters are the lilac spore print and the occurrence on wood. sapidus was supposed to differ only in having a lilac spore print. sometimes nearly central. moderately broad. The problem is of academic interest only since both species are said to be edible. it is obvious that our common species is P. and say the spore print is white. close to crowded. equal or tapering slightly upward. bulbous at the base. or brownish. stout.3-3. narrowly attached to the stem. The cap 13 . and it has been claimed that successive crops may be obtained by watering a log on which it is known to be growing. The exact identity of this species is somewhat of a puzzle. The stem is 2. Some have claimed that it is tough and is it very highly. The spores are pinkish. whitish. The somewhat distant. and 1. elm. tinged lilac. rather broad. The spores are pale lilac to grayish lilac. solid. where it often grows in large shelf-like clusters. fading to whitish. then in bread crumbs and fry in smoking hot fat. or poplar. hairy at the base. The best method is said to be to dust with salt and pepper. every specimen tried by the author has given a lilac spore print and in the United States others have had the same experience. slightly mealy above or becoming smooth.) Kummer) EDIBLE. becoming flat. at first blue. The manner of cooking is also of some importance with this species. the margin incurved for some time and then often wavy. but others prize MASKED TRICHOLOMA (Tricholoma nudum (Fr. lilac or lavender colored. tasteless. maple. at first convex. not change color when bruised. usually short. Older mushroom books call the Oyster Mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (Fr. extending down any difference. then becoming grayish. fading to grayish. or a dirty flesh color. sometimes nearly free. solid. fading to lilac or lilac gray. sometimes water-soaked in wet weather.2 cm thick. 6 (page 12) is 6. dip in beaten egg.4-18 cm broad. Watch for this species on the trunks of various deciduous trees. smooth. sometimes purplish. The flesh is thick. It is recommended that only young specimens be used since older ones apparently become tough. P.5-8.) Quel. if there gills are whitish. There is some difference of opinion regarding the edible qualities of this mushroom.close to the stem in lines which form a network.9 cm long. The gills are rounded behind. white. sometimes almost lacking. tinged with lilac. so that. The stem is more or less to one side of the cap. and somewhat curved. Fig. willow. sapidus. However.

When very young it is covered with a brownish except on the very top.It occurs singly. The genus Lactarius includes a large number of species that exude a milky juice.) EDIBLE. and then slowly changing to greenish. sticky to the touch. 7-10 (page 15) is 6. smooth. often with more brightly colored orange spots. close. Most of the other bluish species will give a rusty brown spore print. hence the spore color should be checked. The greenish stains that develop in this species make it rather unattractive in appearance. Fig. The spores are faintly yellowish. but it is one of the best edible species and is very easily identified. Gray) EDIBLE. gradually it shaped as cuticle but. 12 (page 16) The cap 2. colored like the cap or paler. Fig. stuffed with a pith. The stem is 3. depressed in the center.) S. soon becoming hollow. with the margin inrolled at first.3-1. and the grayish pink spore print. cm long and expanding and becoming somewhat bellmatures. about 5-15 14 . and becoming greenish when bruised or in age. which will distinguish it. F. and one that has a white spore print also has a strong sweetish odor.9 cm thick. in groups. The flesh is firm.5-5 cm thick. Some small bluish species with pink spore prints may be found. when broken. later fading to grayish or gray green. colored like the cap or more yellowish. soon appearing to turn orange because of the exuded milk of this color. bright reddish orange. this soon becomes torn into is barrel-shaped or cylindric. equal or narrowed at the base. on ground in either coniferous or deciduous woods during the late the summer and fall. When the gills or the flesh of the cap or stem are broken a bright orange juice or milk appears. 11. then becoming elevated. or occasionally in small clusters. It is not the only bluish species. narrow. The gills are attached to the stem. It grows scattered or in groups on the ground in moist woods or boggy places during the late summer and fall. often with concentric zones of brighter color. The cap somewhat SHAGGY MANE {Coprinus comatus Fr. DELICIOUS LACTARIUS {Lactarius deliciosus (Fr. but they are so much smaller that they are unlikely to be confused with the Masked Tricholoma.4-13 cm broad. running down it slightly.8-10 cm long and 1. The most striking characters of this species are the bluish or lavender color fading to whitish. but this is the only one in which the juice is bright orange. whitish but.

section showing gill attachment. Fig. side view of a single specimen. top view showing zoning on the cap. Delicious Lactarius.Fig. Delicious Lactarius. Delicious Lactarius. 8. section showing staining of the flesh by the milk. 15 . 10. Fig. Delicious Lactarius. 7. Fig. 9.

16 . all in edible condition. Fig. 11. and a single overmature specimen at the right in which the gills are partially dissolved. 12. series of three in section showing the beginning of the darkening of the gills. Shaggy Mane. Fig. series of four specimens.Shaggy Mane.

crowded. Hence it is advisable to try it in small amounts if you have not eaten it before. The flesh is fairly thick. at first white. or city dumps.5 cm thick. The stem is about 5-15 cm long. tapering toward the base. There is some evidence that this result was associated with the consumption of alcohol at the same time. The gills are thick. whitish to yellowish. It is fairly common along roadsides. becoming pinkish. but it is creamy yellow in a good print. A light spore deposit may appear whitish. The Shaggy Mane is one of the best known mushrooms and is eaten by a great many people.6-1. sometimes fold-like. growing on the either coniferous or deciduous woods. but sometimes two or three arise from the same base. It is highly recommended for the table. then black and dissolving into an inky fluid starting at the outer edge. It usually occurs singly in groups.) EDIBLE. 14 (page 18) The cap is 2. 0. and fragile. soft. extending down the stem. and the margin becomes split and turned back in older specimens.brownish. where it has a great many common names. The flesh is thin. It is chrome yellow to egg yellow. The Chantarelle is very well known in Europe. then becoming smooth. or sometimes in small clusters. The shape. The gills are almost free from the stem. ground 17 . 13. often forking. solid. then becoming flattened and sometimes top-shaped and finally funnel-shaped. and does not change color when bruised. The stem is 5-8 cm long and 1. CHANTARELLE {Cantharellus cibarius (Fr. It occurs singly or in groups. distant from each other. and colored like the cap or paler. with the white to pinkish flesh showing through. with a movable annulus usually near the base. Mild illness has on rare occasions been reported as a result of eating this species.5-10 cm broad.3-2. at first convex. but it is eaten in perfect safety by so many people that one should not hesitate to try it. and the margin is usually somewhat wavy or lobed. It may be looked in for during the summer and fall. Also. equal or tapering upward from the somewhat bulbous base. narrow. smooth. and about the same color as the cap. broad. The spores are black. at first covered with fine fibrils. shaggy cap. on lawns. smooth. it is possible that some individuals may be allergic to this species. shaggy scales.9 cm thick. and they must be eaten soon after picking. A black inky mess will be the result of trying to keep them. blunt on the edge. firm. Care should be taken to pick young specimens before the gills have started to dissolve. and dissolving gills are striking characteristics that make it easily recognized. Fig. hollow. fields.

13. 14. illustrating the thick. Chantarelle. gills. Fig. forked Fig.Chantarelle. group of six. cluster of four. 18 .

which can be moved up and down the stem. Fig. Warning If you find a bright yellow mushroom growing in large clusters around stumps. The habit of growing in great clusters. is large and thick with brownish scales on the underside. thick. more when young.) S. if the specimens are old or a little dried out. they may not give off the light. F. remote from the stem. At first. of quite different consistency from the cap and readily separates from it. It may be the poisonous Jack O'Lantem (Clitocybe illudens (Schw.6-1. Gray) EDIBLE. and the thin. 18-30 cm or occasionally longer and about 0. Fresh specimens of the Jack O'Lantern give off a pale. but the scales should be removed before cooking. expanding and becoming flat is abundant. whereas in others it scarcely appears at all. striking characteristic of this species is its great size. The stem also is hard and tough. close to crowded gills of the Jack O'Lantem are quite distinctive.) Sacc). of excellent quality for the table. PARASOL (Lepiota procera (Fr. The gills are free.3 cm in diameter. The flesh is soft. hollow. It The most is 19 . The spore print is white. In some years it The cap is about 10-20 cm broad. and crowded. However. The annulus. it is covered with a brown cuticle which soon breaks up into widely spaced scales. or pastures during August and September. The stem is long.although fully mature specimens may be tough and require longer cooking. white or slightly reddish. not smooth but with the surface layer breaking up into brownish scales or rings. tapering upward slightly from the bulbous base. white. It grows singly or in groups on the ground in open woods. sometimes called the False Chantarelle. broad. It has sometimes been confused with the true Chantarelle. and this is a good test for it. meadows. 15 (page 20) or less egg-shaped with a prominent elevation in the center. leave it alone. phosphorescent light when placed in a dark room. exposing the white flesh beneath. fold-like gills. but they are not difficult to distinguish. so its absence should not be taken as proof that your specimen is not the Jack O'Lantern. The most distinctive characters are the bright yellow color and thick.

20 . Parasol. The rough. scurfy stem is best shown in the specimen on the right.Fig. 15. one fully expanded and three immature specimens.

Another thing to look at is the stem. L. Lepiota schulzeri. tapering slightly upward from the bulbous base. morgani. 21 . (page 22) The cap is 3. 16 NOT RECOMMENDED. The principal points in distinguishing the Amanita are: (a) the gills remain white and do not become pinkish as in the Smooth Lepiota. this species should either be avoided or be eaten cautiously the first few times. sometimes becoming somewhat cracked. The characters to watch for particularly in this species are the white color. Do not eat this species unless you know both it and the Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa). and the bulbous base of the stem. which sometimes grows even larger but has a greenish spore print. growing on the ground during late summer and fall. but we have had several reports of it causing illness. Meyer ex Fr. The stem is 5-10 cm long.3 cm thick. smooth or slightly silky below the ring. molybdites the correct name of L. the annulus standing out stiffly from the stem. It might be confused with the poisonous Lepiota molybdites (G.) Sacc. moderately broad. at first white.Warning Be sure to get a spore print of this species before eating it.6-1. and soft. occurs abundantly in open fields. the gills slowly turning pinkish. The spores are stuffed in white. close. It Warning This species is probably sent in for identification more often than any other. It is usually considered to be edible. changing slowly to pinkish when mature. the center with a pith. Krieger (1936) states that a similar and poisonous species. The flesh is white. which is smooth in the poisonous species but slightly scaly or coarse mealy in the true Parasol. at first somewhat egg-shaped. thick. (Fr.) Sacc. Hence. The gills are free from the stem. is now considered to be SMOOTH LEPIOTA {Lepiota naucina (Fr.8-10 cm broad.) Kummer) Fig. meadows. smooth or finely silky. can easily be confused with it. later becoming hollow. becoming broadly convex to finally nearly flat. and (c) a volva or membranous sheath encloses the base of the stem of the Amanita. (b) the annulus hangs down loosely around the stem and does not stand out stiffly. white or sometimes buff or smoky in age. The ring usually stands out stiffly from the stem and becomes movable in older specimens. and pastures. and 0.

Note the what bulbous but not sheathed stem. four specimens. stiff annulus and some- 22 . Fig.The Amanita usually grows in the woods and the Smooth Lepiota in open fields. 16. The volva enclosing the base of the stem of the Amanita is the best single character for distinguishing the two. Smooth Lepiota. but do not rely on this difference in habitat alone.

which is on the upper part of the stem. and moderately broad. with a free margin. It grows singly. and gills. 0. It is probably responsible for more deaths than any other mushroom. 23 . which splits across the top as the young plant emerges and then remains as a sheath enclosing the base of the stem. The stem is 5-20 cm long.5 cm thick. in addition to a partial veil.DESTROYING ANGEL (Amanita virosa Lam. becoming hollow. smooth or with cottony scales. it is very fragile and may break up and disappear. The last character is the most important and is the one most likely to be missed by careless collectors. The spores are white. The ring. and smooth. crowded. and frequently buried in the ground. The cap is Fig. bulbous base.) DEADLY POISONOUS. is fairly large. The gills are white. and (c) a universal veil or volva. with an unpleasant odor. and it is of the utmost importance that anyone who picks wild mushrooms for food should know this species at sight and avoid it. on the ground in either deciduous or coniferous woods during the summer and fall. and sometimes disappears. membranous. All species of Amanita have these three things in common: (a) white spores. but no beginner should ever try an Amanita. stuffed in the center. there is. 17 (page 24) broad. The important characters are the white color of cap. Only by repeated collection and study of a species 5-15 cm can you learn to recognize these variations. It is true that some species of this genus are edible. The manner in which an annulus is formed from a partial veil is illustrated in Fig. but the most deadly poisonous species we have. sometimes longer. pure white. In some other species of Amanita. hangs down loosely around the stem. 4 for the Meadow Mushroom. free from the stem or attached by a line. membranous cup enclosing the base of the stem. The flesh is soft and white. becoming nearly flat when mature. 17). The universal veil or volva forms a thick. and it is very important that you learn the characters of this genus and avoid all the species. ex Seer. usually more or less scattered but sometimes abundant. (b) a partial veil resulting in an annulus. pure white. In the Destroying Angel. a universal veil (Fig. the loosely hanging annulus. which enclosed the entire plant when young. This cup is what remains of a universal veil. stem. egg-shaped to convex. This is a beautiful. stately mushroom. usually more or less lobed. and the cup enclosing the base of the stem. sticky to the touch. Practically all our deadly poisonous mushrooms belong in the genus Amanita.6-2. tapering slightly upward from a sheathed. Sometimes this cup or volva may be buried in the ground and the mushroom must be dug up very carefully in order to find it.

Note the loosely hanging annulus and the base of the stem sheathed by the volva. 24 .Fig. Destroying Angel. 17. two mature specimens and one at lower right just emerging from the universal volva.

then splits around the margin of the cap. and more or less concentrically scaly toward the base. and the remainder tightly enclosing the base of the stem and forming concentric ridges or scales. part remaining on the cap as scales or warts. becoming nearly flat at maturity.Should you wish to collect one of these mushrooms for further study. it is seen that both species are enclosed in a universal veil or volva when young. with margin slightly striate when mature.6-20 cm broad or sometimes larger. Although less dangerous than the Destroying Angel.) DEADLY POISONOUS. white or yellowish. or faded to whitish when old. and hangs down loosely around the stem. tapering upward slightly from the bulbous base. It is bright or pale orange or yellow. In the Destroying Angel. do not allow it to come into contact with other mushrooms that may later be used as food. The stem is about 10-20 cm long or longer. It grows singly or in groups on the ground in either coniferous or deciduous woods. whereas that of the Fly Agaric is covered with scale-like or wart-like patches that are the pieces of the old volva adhering to the cap. It usually appears in the late summer and fall. As a result. it tears around the margin of the cap. The cap is Hooker) Fig. crowded.3-3. The spores are white. The universal veil encloses the whole young plant. sometimes nearly scarlet. In the Destroying Angel. but not forming a free-margined cup.8 cm thick. then convex. It gets its name from the fact that it was once used to make fly poison. 1. The ring is on the upper part of the stem. it is known to be extremely poisonous. whereas in the Fly Agaric. but is occasionally found in the spring. the old volva forms a cup-like sheath with the free margin around the base of the stem but in the Fly Agaric. stuffed in the center. It is advisable to wash the hands after handling this species. sticky to the touch. the cap of the Destroying Angel is smooth. The deadly nature of the poison it produces cannot be too strongly emphasized. Wrap it carefully and keep it separate. The Fly Agaric is one of our most beautiful and striking mushrooms. and white to pale yellow. FLY AGARIC (Amanita muscaria (Fr. white or yellowish. which may be washed off by rains. becoming hollow. but fortunately its bright colors tend to deter many people from eating it. it tears across the top. broad. covered with whitish or pale yellowish wart-like patches. 18 (page 27) 7. It is large. The flesh is thick and whitish. it adheres tightly to the stem and 25 . at first eggshaped. If one compares this species with the Destroying Angel. but that the volva ruptures in a different way in each. The gills are free from the stem or attached by a line.

it may make you quite ill but the result is not likely to be fatal. The stem is 2. The color varies from brownish to tan or buff.5-7. and it may be found at any time during the summer and fall after wet periods. rather broad and moderately distant from each other. The gills are free from the stem or attached by a line. perhaps. go over your collection carefully and. at first Warning you gather the Fairy Ring for food.3-0. close to crowded gills.6 cm thick. The flesh is thick on the disk. becoming nearly flat with a raised. about the same size as the Fairy Ring. The spores are white. It is a good species to dry for winter use. Although it is a small species. It is quite easy to distinguish it from the Fairy Ring by its white color and close narrow gills.5 cm long and 0. The Fairy Ring gets its name from its habit of growing in more or less complete rings.5-5 cm broad. The cap is 2. equal. that grows in the same type of habitat and sometimes even in the same rings. pale buff to whitish. with an even or sometimes slightly ridged margin. or may fade to nearly white. There is a small species. ex Fr. smooth. FAIRY RING (Marasmius oreades Fr. It grows singly or in clusters. Fig. 19 (page 27) convex. it often occurs in abundance and is a favorite of many people. if you find any whitish mushrooms with narrow. covered with a fine down or nearly smooth. There is no free-margined cup at all and it might be difficult to recognize these ridges and scales as really part of the universal veil unless you understand how they are formed. pliant fleshy. and whitish to pale buff. It is not the only mushroom that does this but it is. If 26 . abruptly thinner toward the margin. such as lawns and pastures. Clitocybe dealbata (Sow.) Kummer. solid. the one most commonly observed. discard them. The Fly Agaric is not likely to be confused with any edible species. colored like the cap or paler.pulled apart. somewhat rounded part in the center. but it is so common and conspicuous as well as so deadly poisonous that it is one all mushroom eaters should know and becomes avoid. If you eat this mushroom by mistake.) EDIBLE. usually in circles or arcs of circles on grassy places. forming the concentric scaly rings.

19. 27 . cluster of two at left and group of four at right.Fig. Note that the universal veil tears around the margin of the cap leaving patches on the upper surface and the remainder adhering closely to the base of the stem forming scaly patches. four specimens illustrating different stages of maturity. Fly Agaric. 18. Also note tearing of the partial veil to form the loosely hanging annulus. Fig. Fairy ring.

smooth or with scattered fibrils. This species somewhat resembles an Amanita in stature and texture but the pink spore deposit and complete absence of both volva and annulus will distinguish it. becoming pink. often with a broadly rounded. The flesh is white. The tubes are slightly attached to the stem and depressed around it. 28 . dry to very slightly sticky when moistened. light buff to grayish red. sometimes larger. The stem is 6. It grows singly or in groups on the ground in woods and open places from June to October. Some pink-spored species in the genus Entoloma are known to cause illness but in Entoloma the gills are attached to the stem.) Kummer) EDIBLE. solid. at first white.3-3. sweet and nutty in flavor. ex. Fig. rather variable in color. becoming nearly flat. whitish or tinged yellowish to brown. The spores are olivaceous brown. The gills are free from the stem. sometimes for the entire length. EDIBLE BOLETUS {Boletus edulis Bull. Fr. slightly enlarged downward. therefore. yellowish brown or tawny brown. at first convex to bell-shaped. sometimes nearly white. to make sure that the gills are free when collecting Pluteus cervinus. whitish to yellowish or brownish. not changing color when broken. rather broad. convex to nearly smooth. The flesh is white or yellowish to pinkish. solid. raised part in the center. nearly equal or swollen at the base up to 5. 19a (page 29) The cap is 5-10 cm broad.4-15 cm long and 1. It is important.8 cm thick. close to crowded. sometimes only in the upper part. often paler toward the margin. moist to very slightly sticky. Most of the boletes are edible but species thick. may be reddish under the cuticle. varying from dull dark brown to pale dingy tan. becoming greenish yellow. and may be found fairly commonly during the summer and fall.) EDIBLE. soft.5 cm thick. The boletes are a group of fungi that are similar to the true mushrooms in appearance and in their soft. The spore deposit is pink. smooth or with dark fibrils. Fig.4-15 cm broad. It grows singly or in small clusters on and around old stumps or sawdust. marked with a network of raised lines. very thin toward the margin.FAWN-COLORED PLUTEUS (Pluteus cervinus (Schaeff ex Fr. 19c (page 29) is 6. fleshy consistency. 19b. The stem is 5-15 cm long and about 1-1. margin even.5 cm The cap flat. at first whitish and stuffed. soft. but they differ in that the spores are produced in tubes or pores rather than on the sides of gills.

Edible Boletus. B. 19a. thick stems with a raised network. Boletes are often infested with insect larvae and it is usually difficult to obtain specimens free from them. 29 . Fig. and a few species are bitter or acrid to the taste. and the sweet. Fig. The layer of tubes should be removed before cooking. 19c. edulis is highly regarded as an edible fungus and its principal distinguishing characters are the greenish yellow tubes. nutty flavor. which the tube mouths are red should be avoided. Fig. Note network of lines on stem. Fawn-colored Pluteus. Edible Boletus.

but are generally more or less globose to pear-shaped. Also. is not likely to be confused with any other fungus. soft leathery. pastures. One of the smaller puffballs. During the fall. The species illustrated (Fig. 24 (page 32) first The fruiting bodies appear as pinkish. sometimes like kid.). Fig. 24). STINKHORN (Phallus ravenelii Berk. Warning Be sure to cut all puffballs across before using them. attached to the ground by a short. owing to its size. Do not use too much butter when frying it. The stalk is usually 10-15 cm in length and 1. which at maturity becomes a powdery mass of spores. 23. soft.5-5 cm in diameter. 22) to demonstrate this character. 20. egg-shaped struc- tures about 2. 20. the young Amanita will reveal the outlines of the underdeveloped mushroom and the Stinkhorn egg will have a ring of jelly-like material at the outside (Fig. The interior is white. wrinkled at the base. A number of species of fungi are included under the term puffball. the eggs of the Stinkhorn resemble puffballs. with a leathery outer skin enclosing a white fleshy interior. fleshy. cord-like root. One might confuse a young Destroying Angel that was still enclosed in its universal veil with a puffball. Any puffball is edible if it is white and homogenous inside (Fig. They vary greatly in size. 21) is the giant of the family and. However. white to yellowish or brownish. & Curt. It is one of the safest for the beginner and can be highly recommended for flavor. The surface is smooth. These 'eggs' split open and a stalk with a bluntly conical head or cap emerges. it may be found growing in open woods. 21). is also illustrated (Fig.GIANT PUFFBALL (Calvatia gigantea Pers. and finally becoming powdery. slowly becoming yellowish to olivaceous.) NOT EDIBLE. 30 .) EDIBLE. They are rather tough. 20-50 cm or more in diameter. Fig.3-3 cm in diameter. when cut open. and fields. the Gem-studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum Pers. 21 (page 31) The fruiting body is more or less globose. equal or tapering upward slightly. and attached to the ground and to each other by pinkish lilac strands.

22. homogeneous flesh. section showing white. Fig. Giant puffball. Gem-studded puffball. 31 . Fig. 20.Fig. single specimen. single specimen above and section below. Giant puffball. 21.

24. 32 . Stinkhorn. three mature specimens.Fig. 23. Stinkhorn. series of three showing breaking of the "egg". and section of an "egg" showing the spongy texture and the jellylike ring at the outside. Fig.

sometimes much larger. The spores are produced in the slime. It grows on the ground. and extremely ill smelling. smooth or slightly scurfy. and the evil smell is said to attract carrion beetles and other insects. MOREL {Morchella esculenta Fr.yellowish to whitish. and encircled by a white membranous band from the veil. and another which has a beautiful lacy veil hanging from the top of the stem and extending below the cap. orchards. 33 . Other species may be found. The conical or rounded caps covered with deep pits are so characteristic that they cannot be confused with anything else once you have seen them. but it is easily distinguished by the convoluted rather than Until pitted cap.) EDIBLE. attached to a raised whitish disk with a hole in the center. such as one which is much smaller and is pink with a reddish cap. the surface even or wavy. The cap is conical. but they are included here because of the possibility of mistaking one of the 'eggs' for a puffball. hollow. sometimes arranged more or less in rows. This is the only fungus that might be confused with a morel. shape. sometimes nearly globose. usually singly or in groups in open woods. which aid in dispersing the spores. 26).5 cm thick.9-3. more or less elongated. shiny. and color and more than one species may be found. Fig. Many mushroom eaters consider that the morels have the finest flavor of all mushrooms. greenish or olive gray. is The cap Warning you can identify a morel with certainty.8 cm broad at the widest point. be sure to compare your specimens with descriptions and figures of the False Morel (Fig. usually rounded at the top. more often irregularly arranged. 25 (page 34) grayish brown to yellowish brown. The stem is 5-7. These unattractive fungi are not likely to be tried as food. The Stinkhoms are more closely related to the Puffballs than to the true mushrooms. whitish. It grows in groups in sawdust or around rotten wood during the late summer and fall. The surface is covered with rounded to irregular or somewhat elongated pits. and also because their appearance usually arouses considerable curiosity and disgust. They are rather variable in size. but all are edible and it is only necessary to be sure that you can recognize a morel.5 cm long and 1. spongy or honeycombed. 5-12 cm long and 1.3-2. sometimes slightly conical. and pastures during May and early June.

'.5-7. three mature specimens. convoluted but not pitted. _ ' . and a cross section in the center. .. ... . and the surface is irregularly wrinkled. from nearly globose to more or less lobed. a longitudinal section at upper right. very variable and irregular in shape. . Fig. '.5 cm broad.. 25. FALSE MOREL {Gyromitra esculents Fr.) POISONOUS. 26 (page 35) 2. Fig. folded. and reddish The cap is 34 . Morel.. .

and usually somewhat compressed and grooved. and a cross section of the stem in right center. on the ground.5 hollow. Many people eat it and suffer no ill effects. usually around conifers. fragile. The stem thick.3-2.26 Fig. five mature specimens showing variations in shape. It is a dangerous fungus. cm whitish. It grows singly or in groups. 35 . but brown to dark brown. False morel. is about 2-5 cm in length and 1. during May and June. a longitudinal section in the center. sometimes in clusters of two or three. 26. Although this fungus is not really very much like a morel. it is the only one with which a morel is likely to be confused.

For these reasons it is recommended that this fungus not be eaten. This poison passes off in vapor at relatively low temperatures and is usually removed by boiling. deaths even The toxic properties of this species are due to the presence of monomethylhydrazide (MMH). Ontario. The water used for boiling the mushrooms and the steam given off may. many ACKNOWLEDGMENT The photographs in this publication are from the files of the Mycology Section. contain enough of the toxin to cause poisoning. however. Ottawa. Biosystematics Research Institute. Agriculture Canada. 36 .authentic cases of severe poisoning have been reported and have been attributed to it. Also. Research Branch. the amount of poison needed to have an effect on a person varies from individual to individual.

. New York. Dover Publ.. W. W. The gilled mushrooms of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. M.. Ottawa. 1973). 5th rev. O. The mushroom handbook. Morels— A gourmet's delight. B. (Reprinted in 1971). B. Michigan. H. Supply and Services Canada.. Excellent illustrations and useful throughout Canada. 1962. J. R. Agriculture Canada. Heim. 1112. A. 1936. Information Services. and Szczawinski. Krieger. Mcllvaine tasted it. Highly recommended as an interesting and informative introduction to the study of mushrooms. L. and Hora.. V. S.P. D.. Dover Bandoni. 1976. many in color. Can. Ann Arbor. R. Useful throughout Canada. Publ. Paris VI. fungi. (Reprinted in A good book for the gourmet: if anything could be called a mushroom. Prov. F. Mushrooms of Eastern Canada and the United States. Michigan Press. 1951. A. 1963. Dover Publ. Mushrooms and toadstools. 1962. E. 201 Park Ave. Dover Publ. Kauffman. Romagnesi. (Reprinted in 1967). Dutton. Editions Chantecler. ed. Univ. Useful throughout Canada. Mushrooms of the Great Lakes Region.. Guide to common mushrooms of British Columbia. Les Editions Bordas. Smith. New York. 744 Rockland Ave. Boubee & Cie. One thousand American 180 Varick Street. 1976. New York. J. 1581. 3. Champignons d'Europe. (Reprinted in 1970). K. 180 Varick Street. C. Place Saint-Andre-des-Arts. 180 Varick Street. Pomerleau. Agric. 37 . Handbook 24. Petit atlas des champignons de France. Probably the easiest book to use for the beginner.. F. Editions N. New York. Dutton. Malloch. New York. and Macadam. E. 37 Rue Boulard. Excellent large photographs of 188 species. Excellent colored photographs. Lange.. Montreal. Publ. Edible and poisonous mushrooms of Canada. 1902. 1963. Mushrooms of North America. 1918. 201 Park Ave. R. K.. H. O. C. 1944. 1969.. Can. Mus. Miller. New York. 180 Varick Street. Ottawa. Groves. R.C.P.SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY R. Useful throughout Canada and highly recommended. 1972. Mcllvaine. Agric. The mushroom hunter's field guide. Publ. Graham. C. Paris 14.. S.

035 22 cubic feet gallons x 2.1 oz avdp lb kilogram (kg) (t) avdp short ton AGRICULTURAL litres per hectare (L/ha) x x 0.62 inch inch feet mile AREA square centimetre (cm 2 square metre (m 2 square kilometre (km 2 hectare (ha) ) ) x 0.04 xO.15 x 1.39 x 2.357 gallons per acre quarts per acre pints per acre fl.31 x 1.39 x3.04 x 2.89 oz per acre per acre tonnes per hectare (t/ha) kilograms per hectare (kg/ha) x0.45 x tons per acre lb grams per hectare (g/ha) plants per hectare (plants/ha) x x 0. x 0.- CONVERSION FACTORS Approximate conversion Metric units factors Results in: LINEAR millimetre (mm) centimetre (cm) metre (m) kilometre (km) x0.089 0.405 ozavdp per acre plants per acre .06 cubic inch cubic feet cubic yard x 35.71 mil 1 il itres per hectare (mL/ha) x 0.2 ) xO.5 bushels WEIGHT gram tonne (g) x0.014 0.5 square inch square yard square mile acres VOLUME cubic centimetre cubic metre (m 3 ) ( cm 3 ) x 0.31 CAPACITY litre (L) x hectolitre (hL) x 0.2 x 1.28 x0.014 0.

CAL/BCA OTTAWA K1A 0C5 9073 00188401 6 .